tv Your Bottom Line CNN January 29, 2011 9:30am-10:00am EST
example, look at algeria. both have histories of civil wars, major internal strife. that changes the way that these protests will play out in that country. in tunisia, a more homogeneous population. that changes what happens there. in egypt, what we're seeing here. in the end, the big picture, analysts are seeing the same thing. it is clear when it comes down to what they want, where they're coming from and what it is that they are hoping, these plights, even revolutions, will ultimately achieve is pretty much across the board. >> talk to me about the fact these countries have islamic movements with their borders? what role are they playing in all this, if any? explain this to viewers. >> reporter: interesting. we follow this in general, covering the way they're changing, some of these societies. especially in yemen the last couple of years. we've had reason to follow that. all analysts i talk to, look at
these countries,algeria, yemen, they're coming from moderate groups and secular groups coming together to express the frustration that they share. asieh? >> josh levs breaking it down for us. appreciate it. thank you. >> reporter: you got it. cairo has been the center of the protests in egypt, there have been demonstrations in cities across the country. alexandria is one example on mediterranean coast. a curfew went into effect about 20 minutes ago. joining us on the line, what's going on around you now, saab? >> reporter: yes, hi. let you know i'm right here in the middle of the demonstration in alexandria. the crowd is headed towards the machine at public square. i see military armed vehicles and the -- on the military
vehicles, down with mubarak, down with the regime and the people and the military are one face. this is incredible. never seen anything like this. they're writing this on the military vehicle, and you know mubarak is the head of the military right here in egypt. he is not just the president, but he is also -- it's just amazing watching the crowd trying to shout all the time, "peaceful, peaceful, keep it peaceful," and "down with mubarak." >> people following this closely, especially events in alexandria. a complete turnaround from 24 hours ago when they were fighting pitched battles? >> reporter: here's the thing. what happens here, yesterday they were facing the riot police and the ministry of interior and there were clashes, tear gas. as you know, there's a history. there's a history of police
brutality. this is what they were against. demonstrators wanted this. they wanted the whole government, the ministers of the interior to step down. today there's not one sign of policemen on the ground here. not even one person. no riot police. nobody. just the military. and the military is keeping it very, very simple. they're here, saying they're here to protect the people. not clashing with the people. allowing them to protest in a peaceful manner. they're right in front of the military regime. >> egyptians in cairo have been setting symbols of the regime afire. are they continuing to loot and attack government and police buildings in alexandria? >> reporter: no. we don't see that right now. we don't see it in our area at
all. all what we see is that people -- i personally believe, and that's what i feel, that's what i heard from so many people here on the ground from everybody that i talked to. they believe that they accomplished something when they pushed the president to ask the government to resign, but they want more. they can accomplish so much more than just bringing down his government. they want to bring down the entaira she entaira -- entire regime. they want to start over. i saw at a police station yesterday, half a century, a quarter century is more than enough for you, in reference to you know, of hosni mubarak being in power. >> help us with something. inevitably in all of our reporting we keep talking about
"they," the people on the streets. who are "they"? is there anyone in charge? any political or religious organization? any group at all directing this extraordinary yupheaval? >> reporter: no. i talked to people, believe it or not, even when i was listening to the amman in a mosque nearby, they said-i couldn't believe hearing it from a sheikh, that the people, the young men on facebook, they believe this is a very popular movement that has nothing to do with any political group. people just believe that they should have it. everybody is saying enough is enough. it's time to move on. it's time to have a new egypt, and wanting the entaira sheep to go -- the entire regime to go away. we didn't see -- all kinds of
different people. people from all walks of life walking down the street and shouting, "down with mubarak." >> back to what you just said. extraordinary in egypt, a country that has been a historic home of islam, a cleric signaling facebook at the moment. this is extraordinary. how many of the people are you seeing that are in their 20s and in their teens? how many young people are among these crowds? >> reporter: i talked to so many people yesterday who are 19 years old, 20 years old and older people. 19 years old, students, told me yesterday, we're not happy with just him saying you know, just push the gftovernment aside. we want limb to resign and be tried. they are seeing saudi arabianfo
want him tried for all the torture against people. the corruption. they accused -- i mean, i hear over and over, you've got to love and enjoy the egyptian sense of humor. everybody is shouting -- we don't love him, we don't like him. [ speaking in foreign language ]. >> we're getting interference on the phone line. i apologize to the viewers. you have to notice, people have been frustrated and angry for years, for decades in egypt. the sense i'm getting from you, what's changed, they feel brave? they feel emboldened? >> reporter: apparently. they feel they have accomplished so much. i'm sorry, guys. we're in the middle of the demonstration. that's why you hear all the noise. i just want to let you know what is going on, because they feel they accomplished so much by bringing down the government and they feel they want more.
they're not going to stop. everybody is saying, one of the -- as you wake up today, they want this to be -- so it didn't just stop with one government. they want everything. >> saad abedine. he tells us, they are not stopping. randi? let's continue now. on the line, ian lee, live in cairo for us. ian, if i understand this correctly, you witnessed this morning's firefight at the interior ministry. can you tell us what you saw? >> reporter: actually, right now i'm standing in front of a guy who looks like he's been shot in the head. maybe a -- it looks like he's been spitting out blood. maybe more of a graze, but there's a firefight right now going on around the ministry. we're seeing people dragged away, and we're seeing the
surge, protesters keep surging the ministry. >> all morning we've been saying how the protests are much more peaceful than yesterday. can you take us back and tell us how this turned so ugly? >> reporter: well, the protesters by and large have been peaceful when the police aren't around. but right now the ministry of interior is kind of like an alamo and the police have it surrounded. that's their last stand. so the protesters see them as representing the government and are trying to push towards the interior ministry. >> and who's inside the building and who's outside the building? >> reporter: well, right now they have an area cordoned off around the interior ministry. you can not only get about as far as maybe a block, or as close as a block away. they have -- they have people shooting down the side streets. so we are unable to get any
closer without the threat of being shot ourselves. but -- >> who is actually doing the shooting? who's armed? >> reporter: it is the police. the ministry of interior police. the army has take n control of the city but the police are still surrounding the ministry of the interior now. >> does it seems protesters, were they given warning? anyone still on the street after the curfew will be treated as a criminal. was there any warning that went out? >> reporter: i can tell you this -- there's tens of thousands, maybe even 100,000 people on the street right now. so i don't think they can really enforce that curfew, but i can tell you the ministry of interior, i've been around there almost all day off and on, and protesters have tried to charge multiple times. actually this morning at 8:30 we heard tear gas being fired at protesters way over there, and
even early this morning, they were still making runs at the interior ministry. >> the protesters, as we look at the picture, holding up signs saying, "mubarak leave." do they seem more emboldened to you? >> reporter: oh definitely. today is the largest demonstration, largest protest. the most people i've seen in the streets so far. you know, starting from the 25th every day, just seems like it grew larger and larger, and you know, there's rumors flying around that mubarak is going to leave soon. rumors are flying around about the national democratic party. so that's definitely emboldening the protesters. they definitely feel like they are making ground. >> certainly not listening to the curfew. i believe you just said, tens of thousands on the street. can you compare today's crowd to yesterday's? >> reporter: oh, today's crowd is by far larger than yesterday's. you know, i'm down in tahrir, at
the ministry of the interior, it's just packed with people. yeah. definitely there's more people today than yesterday. >> and is there any satisfaction? many disappointed with the fact that mubarak is still there and in power, at least seems to be in power. any satisfaction of the fact the cabinet resigned? >> reporter: well, you know, actually, i saw a man holding a sign that said, "we want the regime to leave. not the government." so, you know, definitely anyone who's associated with the national democratic party, they don't want them around anymore. and -- sorry? >> go on. >> reporter: and definitely the protesters, you know, feel that they'll be satisfied once every member of the national democratic party has left. >> and is this group of protesters, tense of thousandsn numbers, are they moving or
staying where they are, even given the danger? >> reporter: right now we have, the tens of thousands kind of make up this whole area, and then others are saying, chanting slogans about hosni mubarak. and in the interior, in itself a few thousand who are away from the bigger mob, but these areas are very close, and that mob is making up close, continuing, pushing towards the ministry of interior, even though there seems to be live fires shot at them. >> as we've been on the air, have you been, as you've been talking with us, have you heard anymore gunfire? >> reporter: oh, yes. i'm surprised you can't even hear -- you can't hear it, because it's so loud and so frequent. you're hearing it continuously in the background, the thud of gunshots and of tear gas. >> and are people screaming? can you just take us there a
little bit closer? if you can tell us what the scene is? is anyone else being shot? you described one man who looked like he was grazed in the head, even spitting up blood? >> reporter: yes. actually, since i told you that i saw another man who was also spitting up blood as he was being dragged away. the protesters are shouting. they're walking towards the ministry of interior. they're, a certain difference. they keep pushing forward but they're yelling. you know, they're not backing down by any means. >> and do the protesters seemed armed, or still just the police firing, as you said? if so, how are the police able to maintain their presence there if the military has taken over? >> reporter: well, the protesters aren't armed. maybe with rocks and sticks. but definitely not with any firearms. but then we have, you know -- the army has taken control of the city, but really, the
interior ministry is still controlled by the police. that is their headquarters. if that falls, then you know, as many protesters here would say, that would be like a checkmate. that is the last, almost outpost of the police presence in cairo. >> and does the situation seem to be worsening? i can hear the shouting behind you. where are you in relation to the crowd and the interior ministry? >> reporter: hold on a second. we're surging away. i'm -- running away. it looks like the police are making a surge, and protesters are scattering everywhere. i'm sorry. had was your question? >> where are you running to? i was going to ask you if the situation seems to be getting worse? >> reporter: yes. the situation is getting worse. it looks like they fired. the protesters scattered, regrouped and now are pushing back. >> forgive me for interrupting.
i'm hoping you can make a point. many viewers in the united states know about the department of interior in this country and its responsibilities. the ministry of the interior in a place like egypt, it's the police headquarters of a police state. it's not just a symbolic building, but there's an awful lot in there that people want to know presumably and would want to destroy. >> reporter: oh, yes. you know, a lot of the anger that we've seen has been directed towards the police, and you're correct. the interior ministry is different than in the united states where here it's the -- the secret police come out of here. all the different security services of that, that run egypt internally are basically based out of the interior ministry. so this is a huge symbol for people, and egypt has been under emergency rule for the last, almost 30 years now, and the police have been able to do basically whatever they would
like without consequence, and so, you know, the people are now responding to that, and are trying to challenge that last stronghold of that -- that emergency law. >> i'm getting a sense from the reporting we're seeing and dispatches we're seeing, though the authorities have let crowds control the streets, there are some things the regime is defending? there are red lines that the protesters in cairo are not being allowed to cross. presume blip the interior ministry is not the only one? >> reporter: yes, you're correct. the army has surrounded several important buildings. for instance, the foreign ministry, the ministry of information and also the parliament. the army is taking control of all the other public buildings. but it is the ministry of interior which is the last police presence on the street.
>> ian, it's asieh. one thing i'm intrigued by, all the chanting. we know the crowds want to see mubarak and his regime go, but are we hearing anything about mohamed elbaradei? >> reporter: i just talked to a protester a little while ago about mohamed elbaradei, and they -- you know, a lot of people will say, asked where was he when everything was happening in egypt? a lot of them you know, don't -- don't see him as a legitimate leader, because he hasn't been in egypt long enough. a lot of them will tell you that he's always traveling. so they don't see him necessarily as someone who will lead. now, you know, there are -- but you know, there are some people who do see him as a legitimate leader, but by and large, a lot of the people i talked to are bringing up other names for
leaders, and instead of elbaradei. >> the next question to that is, the muslim brotherhood, organized there in egypt. i'm wondering what difference it has made to these protest, the fact that they called for protesters to join them on the streets on friday? has that increased the intensity of what we're looking at? >> reporter: you know, i would think that we would have seen a large protest on the street friday one way or another. the 25th was really the day that kicked everything off, and it really -- it started a lot through facebook. people are calling it, the year of the facebook revolution, and people saw the momentum op the 25th, that carrying over and then as it was announced coming out on friday, there was nor peopnor -- more people called out friday as well and definitely more opposition groups are paying a
key role, big role, to say that today, or yesterday and today wouldn't be as large because of them. i think -- i think these people would have been out in the street anyway. >> i'm going to ask you to stand by for us, because we want to update our viewers on what exactly is taking flas egypt. bring you up to speed what is happening. joining joining us from the streets of cairo around the interior ministry where crowds are indeed gathered. state-run tv are telling us that 38 people have died in the unrest. and that includes ten members of the country's security forces. al jazeera is reporting that at least 40 people have died. tanks have begun rolling into cairo surrounding the square. a focal point of the demonstration. the first time in 20 years the army has been deployed in the country. president mubarak has not been seen in public for some time. he made that televised speech yesterday but gave no indications that he intends to
tep down. a summary of what's taking place in egypt if you are just joining us. >> once again we want to bring back in ian lee, who we were just speaking to, who is live for us on the streets of cairo where he has been winning a firefight, gunfire inside the interior ministry there between police and the protesters. ian, if you could, tell us where you are now. have you been pushed back? and what you're seeing. >> we're still at the same place. basically the police have kind of this area cordoned off around the interior ministry. the alleys are basically shooting galleries where you can't really push down. if you go any further, you will be either shot or gassed. so right now the police just fired at the protesters running. but yeah, we're about as close as you can get without really being in the line of fire, with
the risk of being shot. >> you told us a moment ago you've witnessed now two people shot. can you take us back through how that unfolded. >> yeah. i'm at this cordon, and i saw one man being dragged away. he was covering his head and he was spitting out blood. his friend was taking him away. he didn't look very conscious. he was being dragged away. another man just right after that also spitting out blood. he would seem to be able to walk a little bit, but definitely looked like they were hit by something. >> does it seem as though the protesters from your vantage point are backing down or backing away as you talk about these police firing shots into these crowds? >> you know, it really is a fluid situation. you'll have the protesters charged, the police will look
like -- will open fire, it will scatter the protesters. they'll regroup and then they will charge again. >> what are the protesters saying? are they chanting, are they shouting? are they egging the police on? what is the scene? >> they're definitely chanting, you know, anti-government slogans, but also, you know, they're shouting insults at the police down at the other end. >> has the crowd -- about how large is this crowd now and is it growing or shrinking? >> the crowd is -- there's probably around a thousand people around, and it definitely is about staying the same. people come here having people leave. it's staying the same. but right now i'm actually seeing thick, black smoke coming out of a building. i can't tell where it is. it's closer to us than the interior ministry. but there's a huge fire now between the protesters and the police, it looks like.
>> is the interior ministry on fire or what buildings are you on fire that you can tell? >> it doesn't look like -- no, this isn't the interior ministry. this is closer to me than the interior ministry. but it definitely looks like a building, maybe, i would say 100 yards, 200 yards from the interior ministry is on fire. >> can you describe the crowd, ian, for us? >> the crowd is made up of younger males, and you know, roughly in their 20s and 30s. you know, there's definitely some elderly here, older gentlemen. but definitely the young people who are leading this assault. >> and does it seem as though the anger is still directed at mubarak and the egyptian government or are you hearing any anti-u.s. sentiment? >> you know, that's interesting.
because i have -- i have heard of some anti-u.s. sentiment, especially because the tear gas canisters shot at the protesters say "made in the usa" and the shotgun shells that we're seeing, the cartridges also say "made in the usa." a lot of the protesters are coming up to us saying, look, "made in the usa" and there's chants that mubarak was a puppet of america. but there's one thing that i thought was really interesting. a man had a sign that said president obama don't support mubarak. we don't want to hate the usa. so really, though a lot of people are saying the u.s.' support for mubarak is the main reason why the people are angry at the united states. >> ian lee, i know this is a very fluid situation there in cairo. i want you to stay there for us if you can. we'll check back with you.
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welcome back. amazing pictures out of egypt right now. thousands taking to the streets demanding historic change. gunfire exploding. we've got gunfire near a key government building. the interior ministry, as police try to hold back protesters. demonstrators seem to be coming in waves ignoring the curfew emboldened by today's government resignations. from cnn center, this is cnn saturday morning. i'm randi kaye. >> welcome to our international viewers. >> let's get you up to the latest now. if you're just joining us, here's what we know so far today. the death toll is rising from the anti-government